EVANS — When Greenbrier’s Bay Daniel scores a goal, she is usually cool and collected and gets ready for play to resume. Not Wednesday night when the Lady Wolfpack played host to No. 5-ranked Lambert.
After scoring the game’s first goal, Daniel, the 2012 Region 2-AAAA girls soccer player of the year, sprinted from the goalie box to almost midfield in celebration before being corralled by her teammates.
After scoring that goal with 23:02 left in the game, the unbeaten, No. 5 Lady Wolfpack (19-0-1) tacked on a late goal from Brooke Christensen and defeated Lambert 2-0 in the second round of the Class AAAA state tournament.
Lambert coach Scott Luthart said Greenbrier’s first goal was an unfortunate play in an otherwise strong defensive effort against Daniel by Lauren Skyora.
“Lauren had really neutralized her, really frustrated her up to that point,” Luthart said.
While play was on Lambert’s end of the field for the majority of the game, the Lady Longhorns (14-4-2) started applying pressure late in the second half and forced Lady Wolfpack goalie Whitney Roberts to step up her game.
With seven minutes to play, Roberts made a huge stop. With the ball in front and a Lady Longhorn fast approaching, Roberts came out of the net, slid and kicked the ball out of bounds.
With a chance to regroup, the Lady Wolfpack defense didn’t allow Lambert another opportunity.
“That was the biggest save of the year, no doubt,” said Lady Wolfpack coach Wes Kendrick.
Said Luthart: “Their goalkeeper made two huge saves in the second half ... and their defense seemed like they were throwing their bodies in front of shots all day long.”
With 2:49 to go, Daniel crossed the ball from the left side to the middle. Christensen beat the defender to the ball and easily deposited it for the clincher.
Greenbrier will play host to Marist, a 2-1 winner over Starr’s Mill, on Saturday with the winner advancing to the final four.
Lambert’s season is complete. The Lady Longhorns lose six seniors — their first significant hit since the school opened in 2009 — including four traditional starters.
“I’m just continually proud of this group,” Luthart said. “We’ve been fortunate to be blessed with very gifted players from the very beginning [of the program].”